(written from a Production point of view)
|Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country|
|Release date: 6 December 1991|
|←||6th of 12 Star Trek films||→|
|←||216th of 728 released in all||→|
Nicholas Meyer & Denny Martin Flinn
Leonard Nimoy and Lawrence Konner & Mark Rosenthal
Steven-Charles Jaffe & Ralph Winter
"The battle for peace has begun."
An interstellar cataclysm cripples the Klingon Empire's homeworld, leading to their Chancellor seeking peace with the Federation. But covert acts attempt to thwart the peace process with the assassination of the Klingon Chancellor. With Captain James T. Kirk and Dr. Leonard McCoy as the prime suspects, the Starships Enterprise-A and Excelsior must attempt to uncover the truth before the conspirators can plunge the Federation and the Klingon Empire into war.
A massive explosion erupts which is followed by a subspace shock wave which reaches out through the local area of the galaxy.
- "Stardate 9521.6, Captain's log, USS Excelsior, Hikaru Sulu commanding. After three years, I have concluded my first assignment as master of this vessel, cataloging gaseous planetary anomalies in Beta Quadrant. We're heading home under full impulse power. I'm pleased to report that ship and crew have functioned well."
While taking a leisurely sip of Ensign Tuvok's blend of tea, Sulu reads a routine report from his science officer Valtane when the Excelsior starts to shake. A gigantic energy shock wave approaches the ship; the shields are raised just in time. The ship slowly turns into the wave and clears it soon after. The source is Praxis, a Klingon moon, home of the key energy production facility for the entire Klingon Empire. Valtane then scans for Praxis, but cannot confirm its existence. Sulu tells his communications officer, Lt. J.G. Janice Rand, to signal the Klingon High Command and offer assistance. It seems that Praxis has been all but destroyed. A distress signal from Praxis comes through, with a Klingon miner surrounded by flames and screaming for help, but it is blocked by a transmission from Qo'noS. Klingon Brigadier General Kerla explains he is speaking for the High Command, admitting there has been an "incident" on Praxis, but that everything is under control. He tells Sulu to obey treaty stipulations and remain outside the Neutral Zone. An exasperated Sulu exclaims out loud "An 'incident'". Lt. Janice Rand asks Sulu if they should notify Starfleet and Sulu simply answers: "Are you kidding?!"
Act I - The Mission and Catastrophe
Two months later, on Earth, the senior crew of the USS Enterprise-A assembles for a meeting at Starfleet Command. The Commander in chief of Starfleet opens the meeting saying that the Klingon Empire has fifty years of life left in it. The C in C then turns the meeting over to Spock, who's been acting as a Federation Special Envoy, announces that two months previously an explosion on the Klingon moon Praxis has polluted the planet's ozone and that the Klingon Homeworld has only fifty years of life left without diverting resources from its military expenditures. Spock, at the behest of the Vulcan ambassador Sarek, has opened a dialog with Gorkon, the Klingon Chancellor, who wants to end all hostilities and dismantle all bases in and around the Neutral Zone. Admiral Cartwright objects, saying the Klingons must not be offered safe haven in Federation space. He declares that the Klingons would become the "alien trash of the galaxy", which brings a look of disbelief from McCoy. Cartwright suggests using military force so they can dictate terms from a far superior position. Kirk, while not agreeing with the hard line tactics outlined by Cartwright, agrees that giving the Klingons free reign in Federation space is a "terrifying idea". Spock says they must act now to support the Gorkon initiative before more conservative elements can seize control of the Empire and try to fight to the death.
Spock has volunteered the Enterprise and its crew to welcome Gorkon and his aides aboard and escort their ship to a peace meeting on Earth. Kirk protests that he is hardly the man for the job but is overruled and commanded to extend full diplomatic courtesy.
At that point, Kirk is left alone with Spock, who reminds him of an old Vulcan proverb that "only Nixon could go to China." Kirk is angry that Spock would volunteer the Enterprise without consulting him. Spock states that his father, though Kirk knows that Spock's father is the Vulcan ambassador, to open the negotiations. Kirk is furious at Spock for having to treat the Klingon "animals" like honored guests after what they did to his son; Spock knows how he feels about the Klingons, but says "they are dying". Kirk snaps, "Let them die!" Upon Spock's somewhat startled reaction, Kirk asks Spock if he has realized that the Enterprise crew is due to stand down in three months time, saying that they have all done "our bit for king and country" and Kirk says that Spock should have trusted him.
Captain Kirk and party are ferried to the Earth Spacedock, and board the Enterprise. Arriving on the bridge, Kirk, Spock and McCoy meet Lieutenant Valeris, a young Vulcan female and a brilliant graduate of Starfleet Academy, who is volunteering as helmsman. At one quarter impulse power the Enterprise departs Spacedock and the Sol system to rendezvous with Gorkon's battle cruiser, Kronos One.
- "Captain's log, stardate 9522.6. I've never trusted Klingons, and I never will. I can never forgive them for the death of my boy. It seems to me our mission to escort the Chancellor of the Klingon High Council to a peace summit is problematic at best. Spock says this could be an historic occasion and I'd like to believe him. But how on Earth can history get past people like me?"
Valeris then interrupts Kirk. Valeris informs Kirk of arriving at the rendezvous point. Valeris then tells Kirk how she enjoyed leaving the space dock. Kirk tells her she piloted well out of Spacedock and Valeris tells Kirk she's always wanted to try it.
Valeris discusses logic and philosophy with Spock in his quarters in terms of their current mission. Spock says history is loaded with turning points and she must have faith that the universe will unfold as it should. When Valeris asks if that is logical, Spock points out a simple fact that has taken him a lifetime to learn; logic is only the beginning of wisdom and not the end. Spock is going to retire, with this being his last voyage on the Enterprise as a member of the crew and wants Valeris to replace him. Valeris states that she could only succeed Spock. Upon this, an announcement is made that all hands report to duty stations as a Klingon battlecruiser has arrived.
Upon rendezvous with Gorkon, Captain Kirk reluctantly, but formally, invites the Chancellor and his staff to have dinner aboard the Enterprise at 1930 hours as guests of the Federation. Valeris then suggests opening up the supply of Romulan ale that is aboard, thinking it may help the evening progress more smoothly. Kirk compliments her thinking and leaves the bridge.
Later, in the transporter room, Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Scotty are on hand to greet Gorkon and his party. All behave cordially on the surface. Gorkon introduces his daughter, Azetbur, his military adviser, Brigadier General Kerla, and General Chang, his chief of staff. While Gorkon is dignified and gracious, offering Spock his sincere gratitude for his actions towards peace, Chang, who has an especially smug, obnoxious demeanor, tells Kirk that he has so wanted to meet the great Capt. Kirk, "warrior to warrior" out of admiration.
Shortly afterward, both Kirk and Gorkon's staff dine together. Gorkon gives a toast to "the undiscovered country – the future". Spock recognizes the line from Hamlet and Gorkon tells Spock that one has never read Shakespeare properly until reading the text in "the original Klingon". McCoy diplomatically offers a toast to Gorkon, calling him "one of the architects of our future." The dinner proceeds with surface pleasantries gradually melting to reveal angry hostility. In particular, Chekov says the Federation believes all worlds have the sovereign claim to inalienable human rights and Azetbur points out that this statement is racist and that the Federation is little better than a homo sapiens only club. Chang tells Kirk that they all need breathing room, which Kirk points out is the same thing Hitler said, which offends Chang. Thinly masking his disappointment, Gorkon simply quips that they have a long way to go.
As the Klingons prepare to leave, Kirk sarcastically jokes that they must do this again sometime. Gorkon says he knows Kirk doesn't trust him, and offers that "if there is to be a brave, new world, our generation is going to have the hardest time living in it." Once the Klingons are safely beamed off the ship, the entire senior staff relaxes, observing that the Klingons were pretty awful, but so were they themselves.
- "Captain's log, supplemental. The Enterprise hosted Chancellor Gorkon and his party to dinner last night. Our manners weren't exactly Emily Post. Oh, note to the galley, Romulan ale no longer to be served at diplomatic functions."
Lying down to sleep, and nursing a terrible hangover, Kirk is summoned to the bridge by Spock. Sensors are picking up an enormous amount of neutron radiation which appears to be emanating from Enterprise (which an equally hungover Chekov painfully jokes that it is only the size of his head). A photon torpedo shoots out and strikes Kronos One. A second photon torpedo knocks out the gravity. The torpedo bay, according to Mr. Scott, is still fully loaded; no matter what the instruments say, the Enterprise could not have fired.
As the Klingons begin floating helplessly about, a transporter beam engages and two men in Starfleet uniforms with closed helmets and gravity boots begin walking through the corridors, shooting every Klingon they come in contact with, including Gorkon.
When auxiliary gravity is restored on Kronos One, Gorkon is discovered, mortally wounded. A furious Chang accuses Kirk of defiling the peace they're striving to work for, and saying that he'll blow out of the stars. Kirk denies that they fired, although the ship's data banks say they did according to Spock. Kirk orders that the Enterprise surrender, much to the surprise of the bridge crew. He prepares to board Kronos One leaving Spock in command – where he'll be able to get Kirk out of trouble. Spock subtly slaps a small black patch on Kirk's back. McCoy decides to go too in case they need a doctor.
When they arrive on Kronos One Kerla asks if Kirk has "lost his mind". Kirk and McCoy insist they don't know what's happened and that they want to help, Kerla reluctantly allows them to follow him to Gorkon, who is badly wounded. Chang tells him about the torpedoes, the gravity, and the assassins. McCoy tries to save Gorkon but fails due to his lack of knowledge of Klingon anatomy. Before dying, Gorkon reaches up to Kirk and begs him not to let it end this way. General Chang has Kirk and McCoy arrested for murder.
On the Enterprise Uhura relays the news of their arrest. Spock then formally assumes command of the ship and begins a full-scale investigation. When Chekov asks what will happen if they cannot piece together what happened, Spock says then "in that case, Mr. Chekov, it resides in the purview of the diplomats."
On Earth, the Klingon ambassador is speaking with the Federation President, defending his government's decision to arrest Kirk and McCoy for the assassination of Chancellor Gorkon. The president has ordered a full-scale investigation too, but the Klingon ambassador says that by the articles of interstellar law Kirk and McCoy must stand trial in a Klingon court. Sarek and Romulan ambassador Nanclus concur. The commander-in-chief, Admiral Cartwright, and Colonel West enters. They propose a plan they call Operation Retrieve, to rescue Kirk and McCoy, West states that they could go in and get Kirk and McCoy in less than 24 hours with acceptable losses in manpower and equipment. The president asks what would happen then if they precipitate a full scale war and West frankly states "Then Mr. President, we can clean their chronometers." Nanclus tells the president that the Klingons are vulnerable and there would never be a better time to strike them. Cartwright says that the longer they wait, the less accessible the hostages become. The president then dismisses everyone saying he'll keep all this in mind. Everyone except for Sarek leaves the president alone. At the door, the C in C stops and reminds the president that Kirk and McCoy have literally saved the planet. The president knows this and tells the C in C that they are now going to save it again... by standing trial.
Uhura receives a message from Starfleet Command to return to Earth immediately. Both she and Chekov agree they cannot abandon the captain and Dr. McCoy. Valeris tells them how 400 years ago on the planet Earth, when workers felt threatened by automation, they flung their wooden shoes called sabots into the machines to stop them, thus coining the word "sabotage." Uhura comes up with a response that Enterprise's backup systems are all inoperative.
Azetbur, now Klingon Chancellor, communicates with the President. She says in one week she will attend a peace conference at a neutral, secret site on the condition that they will not extradite Kirk and McCoy and that the Federation will make no attempts at a military extraction. If they do so, it will mean war.
Azetbur's advisors (including Kerla) suggest attacking the Federation now while they still can. The warriors prefer to fight and die. Azetbur stands up to them, saying that war is obsolete and the peace process must go forward, and Kirk alone will pay for her father's death. Chang states that her father died for what he wanted.
Spock's investigation is proceeding. One computer is saying that Enterprise fired and the other one says they didn't, so they'll have to inspect each torpedo visually. If they're all there, it'll prove someone has forged an entry in the data banks.
Act II - The Trial and Spock's Investigation
The trial now begins, with Chang as prosecutor and Colonel Worf as Kirk and McCoy's defense attorney. In a Klingon trial, the prosecution and defense question witnesses at the same time. The first witness says the murderers were wearing magnetic boots, a fact which, back on Enterprise, gets Spock to thinking. Chang then begins questioning McCoy beginning with McCoy's current medical status, to which McCoy jokes stating "other than a touch of arthritis, I'd say, pretty good!" Chang tries to impugn McCoy's medical competence and questions whether he really tried his best to save Gorkon. McCoy says he desperately tried to save Gorkon as he was the last best hope for peace. Then the judge excuses him.
Chang then turns to Kirk and calls him "the architect of this tragic affair." Chang accuses Kirk of plotting to kill Gorkon as revenge for the death of his son, a charge Kirk denies. Worf objects, stating Kirk has not been identified as the assassin. Chang enters into the record an excerpt from Kirk's personal log:
- "I've never trusted Klingons, and I never will. I have never been able to forgive them for the death of my boy."
Kirk admits he did say this. Chang uses a number of examples from Kirk's record to show that it's possible he arranged for Gorkon's murder. Kirk is maneuvered into stating that of course he is responsible for the actions of every member of his crew. The judge finds both guilty as charged, which carries a death penalty. Worf argues that the bulk of the evidence against his clients is circumstantial and begs the court to consider this upon sentencing. The judge commutes their death sentences to life without parole on the penal asteroid of Rura Penthe, known throughout the galaxy as the aliens' graveyard.
- "A bird of prey cannot open fire when it's cloaked!"
Spock puts Valeris in charge of a search for two pairs of gravity boots, which must be somewhere on board.
Kirk and McCoy are taken from Qo'noS, along with a group of other prisoners, to the frozen wasteland of Rura Penthe, an appropriately harsh place protected only by a magnetic shield. Kirk almost immediately has an altercation with a large alien, but is rescued by an exotic looking woman, Martia.
In the galley, Spock and Valeris observe the search going on. Scott and Uhura continue to stall for time by claiming malfunctioning equipment.
Meanwhile, Kirk is engaged in hand-to-hand combat with another alien, and is surprised when he wins. Martia offers to help Kirk and McCoy escape. That night in their bunks, Kirk admits he'd gotten so used to hating Klingons that it never even occurred to him to take Gorkon at his word. Martia comes in, gives Kirk a big kiss and tells him where to meet her to plan an escape.
Act III - The Rescue and Revelation
Sulu's officer tells him that Starfleet wants to know what happened to the Enterprise. Sulu states that he nor the Excelsior personnel know anything about the Enterprise and dismisses the officer. Now Sulu is getting really worried.
In the transporter room, Chekov finds some dried remains and takes a sample of it to Spock, who discovers that it is Klingon blood, which must have been floating through the Klingon ship and got tracked back to Enterprise by the assassins walking through it. Spock notes this as the first piece of evidence to corroborate their theory and therefore expands the search to include all uniforms aboard ship. Valeris eventually finds the magnetic boots; however, they are in the locker of a crewman whose feet are shaped differently from humans'; the boots couldn't possibly be his much to the surprise of Chekov.
Kirk and McCoy get into a lift for mining duty and discover that Martia is a shapeshifter. She changes bodies several times in the course of leading them out of the range of the magnetic shield. Uhura and Spock have noted Kirk's exit from the beaming shield as well. Spock orders the ship to Rura Penthe. It seems that what he put on Kirk's back was a viridium patch which enabled him to track the captain.
The Enterprise passes into Klingon space and gets the attention of a Klingon listening post. Strangely, not even Uhura knows enough Klingon to communicate intelligibly with the sentries. If they used the universal translator, the sentries would pick it up. In badly broken Klingon Uhura identifies her ship as a freighter, IKS Ursva, headed to Rura Penthe to deliver supplies. The Klingons at the listening post are fooled and end up making a Klingon joke, in which the Klingon and the Enterprise crew forcibly laugh.
As Martia produces warm clothes and other supplies and lights a flare for heat, Kirk realizes that Martia is setting him and McCoy up to be killed. She's spoken previously of a huge reward to the person who gets them, and the flare is a dead giveaway. Martia changes into a duplicate Kirk and they fight, rolling all over the snow before being stopped by a jackal mastiff, Klingon guards, and the warden. Kirk and Martia (still appearing as Kirk) stand next to each other. Kirk convinces the warden to shoot Martia, since they don't want any witnesses. Kirk then asks who wanted them killed. Just before the warden can identify the culprit, Kirk and McCoy are beamed out of the cave – with Kirk swearing the whole way up.
Appearing on the transporter pad, Kirk asks Spock if he couldn't have waited two more seconds, as the warden was about to explain the whole thing. When Chekov sheepishly asks if they want to go back, McCoy answers "Absolutely not!" Kirk adds, "It's cold!" Chang finds out about this and prepares to intercept the Enterprise.
Scotty discovers two sets of uniforms with Klingon blood on them in the officer's mess. They subsequently find Yeomen Burke and Samno, both dead, killed by a phaser stun at close range. They were the ones on guard in the transporter room when Gorkon and party first beamed aboard the Enterprise. To lure out the assassin, an announcement is made over the intercom that statements will be taken from Burke and Samno, as if they are merely injured. Someone walks into the darkened sickbay with phaser in hand; it's Valeris. Valeris is stunned to see Kirk and her mentor Spock in the hospital beds instead of the dead crewmen. Hurt and angry over her betrayal, Spock challenges Valeris to shoot him, and violently slaps the phaser from her hand. McCoy appears from the shadows and informs her that the operation is over.
On the bridge, Valeris denies firing and says that Kirk has no proof. But Kirk does. He reminds her that his personal log was used as evidence against him at the trial; she must have recorded him talking on his personal log that night Valeris was standing outside his doorway. Valeris dodges the accusation by accusing Kirk and the entire ship of betraying Starfleet. When McCoy calls her on it and asks her what she thinks she's been doing, she says she's been working to save Starfleet. She reveals that some Klingons conspired with Starfleet officers to kill their own Chancellor. McCoy ponders the concept of peace between the Klingons and Federation being so unacceptable to members of both sides that they worked together to prevent it.
Spock forces her into a mind meld, discovering that the conspirators include Admiral Cartwright, General Chang, and the Romulan Ambassador, Nanclus. He looks further into her mind but Valeris does not know where the peace conference is. The Enterprise contacts the Excelsior and Sulu tells Kirk that the conference will be held at Camp Khitomer, beginning later that day.
Act IV - Realizations and Confrontations
In Spock's quarters, Kirk admits that he couldn't get past the death of his son and that it took Gorkon's death to get him to realize how prejudiced he was. Spock admits he was prejudiced by Valeris's accomplishments as a Vulcan and speculates that he and Kirk are getting so old that they're obsolete.
The Khitomer conference begins, as the Enterprise races into orbit about the planet. If Chang's ship is there, it's cloaked. Tension mounts on board the ship as they get ever closer to transport range. With just over 40 seconds to go, Chang contacts Kirk and begins quoting Shakespeare:
- "Once more unto the breach, dear friends".
again as the Bird-of-Prey begins firing on Enterprise. Excelsior is racing to Khitomer at maximum warp.
On Khitomer, Azetbur's speech has begun and a Klingon stands up and walks out carrying a briefcase. Admiral Cartwright nervously watches.
In space, the auxiliary circuits on Enterprise are destroyed, but during the battle Spock realizes that the Bird-of-Prey is still going to vent ionized gas, or plasma exhaust; Uhura suggests using the equipment they have onboard to catalog gaseous anomalies as a weapon since the bird of prey has to have a tailpipe on it. Spock asks McCoy to leave the bridge and to help him perform surgery on a photon torpedo to make the needed modifications to it. Enterprise suffers heavy damage, but before she can be crippled, Sulu arrives with Excelsior, taking some of the pressure off of Enterprise as Chang has to divide his attacks between opponents. However, Chang has merely been slowed down: with his ability to fire while cloaked, Chang is still running circles around both ships.
At Khitomer, the Klingon who left has found a vantage point on an upper level and is cutting a small hole in one of the glass panes to aim a weapon at the President.
Chang relentlessly fires Shakespeare quotations such as:
- "I am constant as the northern star..."
and continues firing torpedoes, weakening Enterprise's shields to the point that it takes a direct hit on the ventral-port side of the saucer section. Just after that, Spock and McCoy complete their modifications to the photon torpedo, and with a great deal of satisfaction, Kirk gives the order to fire. It "sniffs" out the cloaked Bird-of-Prey and lands a direct hit, but not before Chang gives his last Shakespeare quote:
- "To be or Not to be".
Enterprise and Excelsior then target the location of the explosion, unleashing a barrage of torpedoes that destroy Chang's now decloaked (and shield-less) ship.The Enterprise crew beam down just in time for Kirk to knock the president out of the way of the would-be assassin's phaser blast. He identifies himself to the dazed president. Cartwright orders them arrested and Spock retorts "Arrest yourself!" displaying a handcuffed Valeris. McCoy says that they have a full confession just as the Klingon assassin is about to shoot Valeris. At that moment, Scotty kicks in the door to the room the assassin is in and shoots him just before he tries to shoot Valeris. He falls through the glass pane to the floor. The Commander In Chief and Colonel Worf rush to the body and find out that it's not a Klingon; it's Colonel West. Cartwright takes advantage of the ruckus and tries to flee but is thwarted when an armed Sulu, accompanied by security guards transports in front of him from Excelsior and hold him there.
A confused and angry Azetbur demands to know what is going on. Kirk tells her this is all about the future and that history has not ended quite yet. Thinking of Gorkon's reference to the future as "the undiscovered country," Kirk notes that people can be very frightened of change. Azetbur tells Kirk he's restored her father's faith and Kirk tells her she's restored his son's. At that moment, the room breaks out into applause as the remaining Enterprise officers (including Sulu) walk up and join Kirk on the platform.
Later, in space, Kirk and crew reenter the bridge and exchange pleasantries with Captain Sulu.
Uhura tells Kirk that they've received direct orders from Starfleet Command to return to Spacedock and be decommissioned.
Spock contemplates that for a moment and then remarks, "If I were Human, I believe my response would be 'Go to Hell.' If I were Human." When Chekov asks for a course heading, Kirk tells him "Second star to the right, and straight on 'til morning." (from "Peter Pan")
Uhura steps over near Scotty and everyone watches as Enterprise heads off toward the stars.
- "Captain's log, stardate 9529.1. This is the final cruise of the starship Enterprise under my command. This ship and her history will shortly become the care of another crew. To them and their posterity will we commit our future. They will continue the voyages we have begun and journey to all the undiscovered countries, boldly going where no man, where no one, has gone before."
"I thought I would assume a pleasing shape." (Act II, Scene II)
- - Martia, to Kirk
"The undiscovered country." (Act III, Scene I)
- - Gorkon, toasting
"To be, or not to be." (Act III, Scene I)
- - Chang's last words
"Cry havoc! And let slip the dogs of war!" (Act III, Scene I)
- - Chang
"I am constant as the northern star." (Act III, Scene I)
- - Chang
King Henry IV, Part II
"Have we not heard the chimes at midnight?" (Act III, Scene II)
- - Chang, to Kirk
King Henry V
"Once more unto the breach, dear friends." (Act III, Scene I)
- - Chang
"The game's afoot." (Act III, Scene I)
- - Chang
The Merchant of Venice
"Tickle us, do we not laugh? Prick us, do we not bleed? Wrong us, shall we not revenge?" (Act III, Scene I)
- - Chang, paraphrasing
"Let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the death of kings." (Act III, Scene II)
- - Chang, at Kirk's trial
Romeo and Juliet
"Parting is such sweet sorrow." (Act II, Scene II)
- - Chang, to Kirk
"Our revels now are ended." (Act IV, Scene I)
- - Chang
"Do we report this, sir?"
"Are you kidding?"
- - Rand and Sulu, after Praxis explodes
"I must protest. To offer Klingons safe haven within Federation space is suicide. Klingons would become the alien trash of the galaxy."
- - Cartwright, on the proposed peace treaty with the Klingons
"I don't know whether to congratulate you or not, Jim."
- - Cartwright and McCoy, to Kirk on his diplomatic mission with Gorkon
"There is an old Vulcan proverb. Only Nixon could go to China."
- - Spock, to Kirk
"Don't believe them! Don't trust them!"
"Let them die!"
- - Kirk and Spock, on the Klingons
"You must be very proud."
"I don't believe so, sir."
"She's a Vulcan all right."
- - Kirk, Valeris and McCoy
"I've never trusted Klingons and I never will. I can never forgive them for the death of my boy."
- - Kirk, recording his personal log
"History is replete with turning points, Lieutenant."
- - Spock, to Valeris
"Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Valeris, not the end."
- - Spock
"Guess who's coming to dinner?"
- - Chekov, after the Klingons accept Kirk's invitation
"I offer a toast. The undiscovered country ... The future."
- - Gorkon
"In space, all warriors are cold warriors."
- - Chang, to Kirk
"Human rights. Why the very name is racist. The Federation is no more than a homo sapiens only club."
- - Azetbur, at dinner
"We need breathing room."
"Earth, Hitler, 1938."
"I beg your pardon."
- - Chang and Kirk
"If there is to be a brave new world, our generation is going to have the hardest time living in it."
- - Gorkon, to Kirk
"Note to the galley. Romulan ale no longer to be served at diplomatic functions."
- - Kirk, personal log
"Valeris, do you know anything about a radiation surge?"
"Only the size of my head."
"I know what you mean."
- - Kirk, Valeris and Chekov, as Kirk and Chekov suffer a terrible hangover
"We come in peace and you BLATANTLY defile that peace! And for that, I shall blow you out of the stars!"
"We haven't fired!"
"Captain, according to our databanks we have. Twice."
- - Chang, to Kirk, Kirk's response and Spock's shocking revelation
"Don't let it end this way, Captain."
- - Gorkon's last words to Kirk
"This president is not above the law."
- - Federation President, to the Klingon Ambassador
"Then, quite frankly, Mister President, we can clean their chronometers."
- - Colonel West, on attacking the Klingons
"Sir... Those men have literally saved this planet."
"Yes, Bill, I know that. And now they're going to save it again. By standing trial."
- - Commander-in-Chief and Federation President, on Kirk and McCoy
"I'll bet that Klingon bitch killed her father!"
- - Scott, suspecting Azetbur killed Gorkon
"Doctor McCoy, would you be so good as to tell me your current medical status?"
"Aside from a touch of arthritis, I'd say pretty good!"
- - Chang and McCoy, during the trial
"'James Tiberius Kirk... What would your favorite author say Captain? Let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the death of kings. Tell us your sad story Kirk, Tell us how you planned to take revenge for the death of you son" "That's not true"
- - Chang and Kirk
"Do you deny being demoted by these charges?! Don't wait for the translation!! Answer me now!!"
"I cannot deny it."
"You were demoted?"
"On occasion, I have disobeyed orders."
- - Chang and Kirk
"An ancestor of mine maintained that if you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."
- - Spock quotes Sherlock Holmes
"This is the gulag Rura Penthe. There is no stockade. No guard tower. No electronic frontier. Only a magnetic shield prevents beaming. Punishment means exile from prison to the surface. On the surface, nothing can survive. Work well, and you will be treated well. Work badly, and you will die."
- - Rura Penthe Commandant, the welcome speech that Kirk, McCoy, and the other new prisoners receive upon arriving on Rura Penthe, an homage to the speech made by Colonel Saito to the British POW's from The Bridge on the River Kwai in 1957.
"If my surmise is correct, those boots will cling to the killers' necks like a pair of Tiberian bats."
- - Spock, on finding the gravity boots
"I'm Martia. You're Kirk and McCoy, I presume."
"How did you know that?"
"We don't get many presidential assassins."
- - Martia, introducing herself to Kirk and McCoy on Rura Penthe
"I was lucky that thing had knees."
"That was not his knee. Not everybody keeps their genitals in the same place, Captain."
- - Kirk and Martia, after he beats the horned alien prisoner in a fight
"What is it with you, anyway?"
"Still think we're finished?"
"More than ever."
- - McCoy and Kirk, after Kirk kisses Martia
"Perhaps you know Russian epic of Cinderella? If the shoe fits, wear it!"
- - Chekov, to Crewman Dax
"Mr. Scott, start your engines."
"Aye, aye sir."
- - Spock and Scott
"Leave me. I'm finished."
"No! Bones, I'm wearing a viridium patch on my back. Spock slapped it there just before we went on Gorkon's ship."
"Why, that cunning little Vulcan."
- - McCoy and Kirk
"An accident wasn't good enough."
"Good enough for one. Two would've looked suspicious. Killed while attempting escape ... now that's convincing for both."
- - Kirk and Martia, as she transforms into Kirk
"I can't believe I kissed you."
"Must have been your lifelong ambition."
- - Kirk and Martia, after she transforms into Kirk
"Isn't it about time you became something else?"
"I like it here."
- - Kirk and Martia, transformed as Kirk
"Kill him! He's the one!"
"Not me, you idiot! HIM!"
- - Martia, transformed as Kirk, and the real Kirk
"Who? Who wanted us killed?"
"Since you're all going to die, anyway, why not tell you? His name is...!"
- - Kirk and Rura Penthe Commandant, as Kirk and McCoy are beamed aboard the Enterprise
"First rule of assassination. Kill the assassins."
- - Kirk, on seeing the bodies of Burke and Samno
"You have betrayed the Federation. All of you."
"And what have you been doing?"
- - Valeris and McCoy
"Then we're dead."
"I've been dead before."
- - Scott and Spock
"Thank you, Captain Sulu."
"Don't mention it, Captain Kirk."
- - Kirk giving his thanks to Sulu after he provides him with the location of the peace conference
"You were right. It was arrogant presumption on my part that got us into this... situation. You and the Doctor might have been killed."
"The night is young."
- - Spock and Kirk
"You're a great one for logic. I'm a great one for rushing in where angels fear to tread."
- - Kirk, to Spock
"Is it possible that we two, you and I, have grown so old and so inflexible that we have outlived our usefulness?"
- - Spock, to Kirk
"Do you want to know something? Everybody's human."
"I find that remark ... insulting."
- - Kirk and Spock
"Let us redefine progress to mean that just because we can do a thing it does not necessarily follow that we must do that thing."
- - Federation President, at the peace conference
"I can see you, Kirk."
"Can you see me? Oh, now be honest, Captain, warrior to warrior. You do prefer it this way, don't you, as it was meant to be? No peace in our time. "Once more unto the breach, dear friends."
- - Chang and Kirk over the intercoms at Khitomer.
"Come on. Come on!"
"She'll fly apart."
"Fly her apart, then!"
- - Sulu and Lojur, as the Excelsior heads for Khitomer
"Doctor, would you care to assist me in performing surgery on a torpedo?"
- - Spock and McCoy
"I'd give real money if he'd shut up."
- - McCoy to Spock, about Chang's endless Shakespeare quotes
"We've got a heartbeat!"
- - McCoy, as the torpedo is activated
"Some people think the future means the end of history. Well, we haven't run out of history quite yet."
- - Kirk, to Azetbur
"You've restored my father's faith."
"And you've restored my son's."
- - Azetbur and Kirk, before the peace conference erupts in applause
"Once again we've saved civilization as we know it."
"And the good news is, they're not going to prosecute."
- - Kirk, on the bridge, and McCoy's response
"Nice to see you in action one more time, Captain Kirk. Take care."
- - Sulu, saying farewell to his former commanding officer
"So... this is goodbye."
- - Chekov
"Captain, I have orders from Starfleet Command. We're to be put back into Spacedock immediately. To be decommissioned."
"If I were human, I believe my response would be: Go to hell! If I were human."
- - Uhura and Spock
"Course heading, Captain?"
"Second star to the right. And straight on 'til morning."
- - Chekov and Kirk, with Kirk quoting James Barrie's Peter Pan
- This is the second of two Star Trek productions (the other being Star Trek V: The Final Frontier) between 1986 and 2005 to be produced without any involvement from Rick Berman.
- Although this is the final Star Trek film to feature the entire Star Trek: The Original Series cast together, only Nichelle Nichols (Uhura) and DeForest Kelley (McCoy) make their final official Star Trek appearances in this film. James Doohan (Scotty) would appear in TNG: "Relics", and then with William Shatner (James T. Kirk), and Walter Koenig (Pavel Chekov) in Star Trek Generations. George Takei (Hikaru Sulu) appeared in VOY: "Flashback" and Leonard Nimoy (Spock) appeared in TNG: "Unification I" , "Unification II", Star Trek and briefly in Star Trek Into Darkness.
- Chronologically, McCoy, Spock and Scotty appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation long after the events of this film.
- This movie is the first canon instance of Sulu's first name, Hikaru (Japanese for "shining"), being stated. Prior to the film, it was commonly used in the novels (and reportedly approved by Gene Roddenberry and George Takei (citation needed • edit)), but had never been made official.
- This is currently the only Star Trek movie shot in Super 35 format instead of anamorphic. (citation needed • edit)
- The film was nominated for two Academy Awards. It was nominated for "Makeup" and "Sound Effects Editing." It was also nominated for the Hugo Award for "Best Dramatic Presentation" and five Saturn Awards, winning for "Best Science Fiction Film."
- Leonard Nimoy co-wrote the story for this final outing of the TOS cast. Likewise, the final outing of the TNG cast (Star Trek Nemesis) was co-written by one of its cast members, Brent Spiner.
- The film confirms Kirk's middle name, which had previously been established in the animated series episode "Bem" as "Tiberius," for the first time in live action production.
- Rene Auberjonois' role as Colonel West was cut from the theatrical release, as Gene Roddenberry was uncomfortable with ideas that were presented in his scenes. (citation needed • edit) The scenes were later restored for the home release. Auberjonois later played Constable Odo on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
- West wore an admiral's rank insignia, which was incorrect. The naval equivalent of colonel is captain. While the notion of a Starfleet Marine Corps had been discussed and seen in fan writings and some older role-playing games, West's rank of colonel was the first ever on-screen hint of Army/Marine-like ranks in Starfleet and would be the only one until the MACOs were introduced on Star Trek: Enterprise.
- Michael Dorn only found out he had a role in this film as Worf's grandfather when Nicholas Meyer and Herman Zimmerman were walking past the soundstages for Star Trek: The Next Generation and informed him about it. 
- The only actors, aside from the original cast, to appear in both this film and in Star Trek: The Motion Picture are Grace Lee Whitney (Janice Rand) and Mark Lenard. In both films Whitney appeared as Janice Rand and Lenard appeared as Sarek in The Undiscovered Country and a Klingon Captain in The Motion Picture.
- Rand was supposed to be the character that wakes up Sulu to inform him that Starfleet was looking for the Enterprise instead of Christian Slater. Slater was a huge fan of the show and his mother – Mary Jo Slater, the movie's casting director – petitioned heavily to get him a part. (citation needed • edit)
- Rene Auberjonois, Michael Dorn and Kurtwood Smith would later star together in the Deep Space Nine fifth season episode "Things Past", where Auberjonois plays Odo, Dorn plays Worf and Smith plays Thrax.
- This is Rene Auberjonois and John Schuck's fourth film together. The first was M*A*S*H, followed by Brewster McCloud, and McCabe & Mrs. Miller.
- Merritt Butrick appears posthumously as David Marcus, via a photo in Kirk's quarters.
Story and production
- The Undiscovered Country was almost never made as a Star Trek film, due to the dismal box office receipts of The Final Frontier. However as seen on the Star Trek VI DVD set and also according to William Shatner's Star Trek Movie Memories, Paramount also didn't really want to end the run of the original crew on The Final Frontier and wanted one more film. It was at this point that Harve Bennett proposed his Starfleet Academy prequel and it was almost green lighted by Paramount until Gene Roddenberry vehemently objected and then the (at the time) head of Paramount found out about the Academy concept and demanded that it be scrapped and a movie with the entire original cast be made. Because he wanted to do the prequel, and Paramount did not want one, Harve Bennett left Star Trek after a decade with the franchise.
- When the Klingons return to their ship after the dinner on the Enterprise, Chang speaks a Klingon phrase into his communicator (without English subtitles). Chang says "daHmacheH" which, in English, means "Ready to return now." During the dinner, Azetbur says a unsubtitled Klingon phrase that, when translated to English, means "Daddy" or "Father."
- Original plans for the movie had Kirk married (possibly to Carol Marcus) and all members of the main cast scattered around to different jobs. Uhura was a radio show hostess, Scotty a teacher and Sulu a taxi driver on some backwater alien colony. Budget limitations forced to leave all this out from the movie, and the scene at Starfleet Command was used instead. (Charting the Undiscovered Country: The Making of Trek VI)
- An early storyboard draft featured HMS Bounty in spacedock being disassembled by Starfleet engineers.
- An early draft of the script featured a flashback to Kirk's days at Starfleet Academy. (citation needed • edit)
- Lt. Valeris was originally intended to be Lt. Saavik, but the scriptwriters decided later that it was out of character for Saavik to be a traitor. According to William Shatner's Star Trek Movie Memories, this was brought about initially by Gene Roddenberry who felt that Saavik was too popular a character to ever be exposed as a traitor. Additionally, Meyer wanted Kirstie Alley to reprise the role, but as she was at the peak of her popularity with "Cheers" at the time and her asking price was far too high. Kim Cattrall initially refused the role until it was renamed as she didn't want to be the third actress to portray Saavik. Ironically, Cattrall had auditioned for the role of Saavik for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. To her dismay, Robin Curtis was never asked to reprise the role of Saavik for this film. Other stories say that Kirstie Alley refused Nicholas Meyer's requests that she reprise the role, as she was uncomfortable about her weight, and that she did not want to look overweight onscreen in the form-fitting uniforms. (citation needed • edit)
- Many of General Chang's quotes and the subtitle, "The Undiscovered Country," come from Hamlet's "To be or not to be" soliloquy, by William Shakespeare. Chang also quotes or paraphrases "Richard II", "Julius Caesar", "The Merchant of Venice", "Henry IV, Part II", "Henry V", and "The Tempest".
- Chang's demand, "Don't wait for the translation! Answer me now!" is a reference to Adlai Stevenson's similar demand of Soviet Union representative Valerian Zorin at the United Nations during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. (Star Trek Encyclopedia)
- Nichelle Nichols objected to the scene in which the crew desperately searches through old printed Klingonese translation dictionaries in order to speak the language without the standard universal translator being used. It seemed more logical to her that Uhura, being the ship's chief communications officer, would know the language of the Federation's main enemy, or at least have the appropriate information in the computer. However, director Nicholas Meyer bluntly overruled her. Chekov can be heard explaining at the beginning of the scene that "a universal translator would be recognized". (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (DVD) text commentary)
- Uhura originally had a very racist line "Would you let your daughter marry one?" (that is, a Klingon), but the line had to be cut because Nichols absolutely refused to say it. Chekov's line "Guess who's coming to dinner?" was also originally Uhura's, but Nichols considered it also to be racist and declined to say it. The line was moved to Chekov. It was a reference to Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, the first major film to deal with interracial marriage, in which Katherine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, and Sidney Poitier starred. (citation needed • edit)
- On the Special Edition release of Star Trek VI, it was revealed that Brock Peters' scene in the council chamber had to be shot in numerous takes, as he was very uncomfortable with the racial undertones in his lines that the Federation take the opportunity to "bring them to their knees", which was itself, a reference to another film in which that line was said about African Americans.
- Also on the DVD, William Shatner stated that he was unhappy with the final cut of his interchange with Spock in the Council Chamber, as he felt that it made Kirk seem too cynical and bitter. He originally had done the scene in one take, adding a dismissive wave after his comment to "Let them die!" which was subsequently edited out of the final movie despite Meyer promising Shatner that he wouldn't do that, according to Shatner.
- The dinner scene in the officer's mess as scripted was originally longer, and filled with a bit more build up and escalating comments between the Federation and Klingon crews. The scene was originally to build almost to blows, when Gorkon says the line "It seems we have a long way to go." 
- The first scene at the Rura Penthe was heavily influenced by The Bridge On the River Kwai, where the commandant of the POW camp gives a similar speech to the new British prisoners.
- According to Denny Martin Flinn in a 2003 audio commentary for The Undiscovered Country, Martia's alien language exclamation "Fendo pompsky" became a popular gag among the crew. Used in place of certain expletives, the line was even embroidered on the inside of the production crew jackets.
- The poster artwork for the film was designed by John Alvin, who took over from previous Trek poster artist Bob Peak. Alvin was asked to design the poster in the style of Peak's.
Sets, props, and costumes
- General Chang's eyepatch had the Klingon crest painted on the heads of each rivet. The makeup artist painted them on for fun and they were never intended to be seen. (citation needed • edit)
- Filming took place during the break between the fourth and fifth seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Most of the Enterprise-A sets were redresses of USS Enterprise-D sets:
- Kirk and Spock's quarters (Data's quarters, which were originally Kirk's quarters from Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
- Transporter room (Enterprise-D transporter room)
- Sickbay (Enterprise-D sickbay)
- Laboratory (Beverly Crusher's office)
- Officer's mess hall (the dining room, redress of Enterprise-D observation lounge)
- Engineering (clear redress of the Enterprise-D engineering; they simply replaced the display graphics and repainted some surfaces)
- Corridors (retouched with more metallic appearance)
- Captain Kirk's quarters featured two different maps of the Milky Way galaxy created for early TNG episodes (TNG: "Conspiracy", "The Emissary")
- Captain Sulu's coffee table was a bit more than a cute addition to the Excelsior bridge. Beneath it was the support for an apparatus used to shake the whole bridge set during the Praxis explosion. As a side note, you may also notice the coffee cup that broke had no markings on it like the one Sulu was drinking from moments earlier. It was such a nice cup, the prop department didn't want it damaged. A similar table, likely for the same reason, can also be seen on the Enterprise bridge as well, between the captain's chair and the helm/nav console. (citation needed • edit)
- Pfaltzgraff made the china used in the film, and sold 3,000 sets of reproductions. 
- The office of the Federation President is a redress of Ten Forward. A viewscreen is located in place of the art ornament behind the bar counter, and the walls are painted with some shade of brown. (Star Trek Encyclopedia 2nd ed., p. 502)
- One of the models of the original USS Enterprise in Kirk's quarters was built by writer Ronald D. Moore when he was eleven.
- The book used by Uhura while frantically searching for a linguistic reference of the Klingon language while entering Klingon territory is actually the 1951 catalog for the "Alloy Steel Products Company, Inc.". (citation needed • edit) Interestingly, the title of the modified book states Introduction to Klingon Grammer, in which "grammer" should be spelled as "grammar".
- Several props and costumes from this movie were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay, including a Rura Penthe miner's mask , a Vulcan Khitomer attendee's costume , a Klingon court attendee lot , a Klingon canteen , and a Klingon uniform lot, partially worn by Scott Leva.  Also sold off was a desk lamp, which was featured during the Starfleet staff meeting. It was designed by F.A. Porsche and labeled as model "Jazz". 
- Gene Roddenberry saw the movie three days before he died. According to William Shatner's Star Trek Movie Memories, Roddenberry, after seeing the film, gave thumbs up all around, and then went back and phoned his lawyer, angrily demanding a full quarter-hour of the film's more militaristic moments be removed from the film, but Gene died before his lawyer could present his demands to the studio.
- Originally, director Nicholas Meyer wanted to bring back composer James Horner, whom he worked with on Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan to score The Undiscovered Country. However, Horner turned the offer down, saying his "career had moved past Star Trek." Meyer then offered the film to composer Jerry Goldsmith, but he turned it down, citing the poor results of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, which he had also worked on. The film eventually went to composer Cliff Eidelman. According to the liner notes for the soundtrack album, Meyer's original concept for the score was to adapt Gustav Holst's The Planets, but getting the rights to the music proved too expensive. (Eidelman's score therefore pays homage to Holst, most notably in the opening credits where the score bears a close resemblance to "Mars," the first movement from The Planets.) An excerpt from The Planets was used a few years later in the trailer for Star Trek Generations. Eidelman was picked because of his extensive knowledge of Holst's "The Planets", having written his master's thesis on the complete suite.
- This movie, Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Star Trek are the only three Star Trek films not to use the opening fanfare from the Theme from Star Trek in the main title music.
- According to William Shatner's Star Trek Movie Memories, the original story credits for the film were to be "Story by Leonard Nimoy and Nicholas Meyer, Screenplay by Denny Martin Flynn" as nothing from the original submission by Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal were used in the final film. According to Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, Konner and Rosenthal went to the Writers Guild of America for arbitration as they felt they should deserve story credit. The WGA spoke to Nimoy and he showed them his notes where he had initially come up with the story idea for the film and they initially sided with Nimoy. However Konner and Rosenthal appealed again and eventually the WGA changed the credits to "Story by Lawrence Konner & Mark Rosenthal, screenplay by Nicholas Meyer and Denny Martin Flynn," leaving Nimoy out of the credits. An incensed Nimoy contacted his lawyer and said if this weren't resolved by the end of the upcoming weekend, he would immediately sue Paramount and the WGA over the matter. Nimoy's lawyer reportedly worked non-stop over the weekend, working with Meyer's attorney, with Konner and Rosenthal's attorney, until finally coming up with a credit which was acceptable to all: "Story by Leonard Nimoy and Lawrence Konner & Mark Rosenthal, Screenplay by Nicholas Meyer & Denny Martin Flynn."
- The galley scene was quickly written into the movie just to demonstrate that you can't fire a phaser (set to kill) on board the ship without triggering an alarm. (This raises the question as to why a phaser locker is in the galley. The answer could be found as early as "The Corbomite Maneuver". While the Enterprise is being towed by Balok's ship, Yeoman Janice Rand brings hot coffee to the bridge. Dr. McCoy asks her how she made coffee when the "power was out" in the galley. Her pragmatic answer was, "I used a hand phaser and zap – hot coffee.")
- The blue food at the dinner scene was so disgusting that actors had to be bribed to eat it. Each actor was offered twenty dollars for every bite. Shatner did it, and won $240, before throwing up. (According to Leonard Nimoy, it was chunks of squid treated with blue food coloring.) Reportedly, Shatner was the only member of the cast able to swallow any of it, and the first time Shatner ate the colored squid, he turned and looked right at Nick Meyer and said, "Where's my twenty?" Meyer called "cut!" and pulled out the twenty and gave it to Shatner. (William Shatner's Star Trek Movie Memories)
- Spock attributes the quote "If you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth" to an ancestor. This quote (and numerous variations) derives from the Sherlock Holmes novels and short stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Fans, noting the similarities between the characters of Spock and Holmes, have long speculated that Spock might be a descendant (on the side of his Human mother, Amanda Grayson) either of the fictional Holmes or the historical Doyle; the first such speculation is found in a Ruth Berman article in Spockanalia in 1966.(citation needed • edit) Writer/director Nicholas Meyer, a Holmes fan, wrote the well-received Sherlock Holmes novel The Seven-Per-Cent Solution and adapted it into an Academy Award-nominated screenplay.
- During the search of all uniforms on board the Enterprise, a crewman takes off the cover of a power conduit. When he moves to put the cover down, you can see production markings on the back.
- At the dining room, you can see paintings of many dignitaries, including Surak, founder of Vulcan philosophy and American President Abraham Lincoln. The Enterprise crew met recreations of both of them in TOS: "The Savage Curtain". Another painting is of an unnamed Andorian dignitary.
- After the first day of shooting, someone noticed that Valeris's jacket was trimmed in gray, not red, to match her red turtleneck undergarment. Since re-filming would have been too expensive, it was quickly decided to just let it pass. (citation needed • edit)
- During the Battle at Khitomer, Uhura mentions that the Enterprise is carrying equipment to study gaseous anomalies. In the beginning of the film, Sulu states that the Excelsior is also on a mission to study gaseous anomalies. It is not clear whether this is done intentionally, as the Enterprise's mission is strictly escort duty for the Chancellor's ship.
- According to George Takei's autobiography To the Stars, early drafts did feature the Excelsior discovering the Bird-of-Prey's weakness and using their gaseous anomaly equipment to find it. According to Takei, William Shatner asked that the scene be re-written, arguing that Captain Kirk would never need anyone to come charging to his rescue.
- The sets for the Excelsior and Enterprise-A bridges were redresses of the same set, which were made up of modules to be rearranged, as needed.
- In the final shot of the Enterprise bridge crew, the helmsman's chair is left empty, symbolizing that Sulu is not present.
- In the credits at the end of the movie, Uhura is misspelled "Uhuru."
- The final scene also has the characters standing in a staged lineup. The producers wanted it known that it was the last movie.
- The final captain's log was actually shot on the bridge of the Enterprise. This, however, was the last scene shot. Instead of using a dubbed log, they recorded it live. (citation needed • edit)
- The Khitomer hall was represented by the Brandeis-Bardin Institute, located in southern California.
- This is the first Trek movie since Star Trek: The Motion Picture to feature no footage from previous films, although a portion of the Enterprise-A leaving the spacedock derives from a scene seen in the previous two movies. The Bird-of-Prey explosion from this film was later used in Star Trek The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek Generations.
- For some unknown reason, the art on the label for the special features, disc 2 of the Special Collector's Edition features an upside-down close-up image of the Enterprise-B while still in drydock from the film Star Trek Generations, Paramount Home Entertainment would later correct this problem by reissuing it as a silver labeled DVD.
- During the dinner scene, Kirk says that having Romulan ale is "One of the advantages of being a thousand light years from Federation Headquarters." Given that 78 years later, a faster and more advanced USS Voyager would expect to take 70 years to travel 70,000 light years, one may infer that it would take far longer than a year for the Enterprise to reach the rendezvous point with Kronos One. However, he could be exaggerating: since the Klingons are enemies of the Federation, it could seem as if they're one thousand light years from home.
- A scene in the script and novelization took place on Excelsior just after Sulu's conversation with Kirk, where Valtane was to have told Sulu, "Do you realize you've just committed treason, sir?" Sulu was supposed to reply something along the lines of "I always hoped that if I ever had to choose between betraying my country or betraying my friend, I'd have the courage to betray my country." This exchange remained in the novelization.
- The events of this film were later revisited in VOY: "Flashback", in which it is established that Tuvok served as an ensign aboard the Excelsior. External footage of the Excelsior and the Praxis explosion wave were reused directly from the film, but all other scenes were specially re-shot, partly to include Kate Mulgrew and Tim Russ, who had not appeared in the film originally, but also because the movie's actors had aged significantly since the film was shot, meaning new footage of the actors filmed for the episode would not have matched any of the reused movie footage.
- As with Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, this film shows Spock having full command of the Enterprise. In fact, this is the only film in which Spock actually gives Kirk orders.
- Spock references the events of this film during TNG: "Unification II", citing his guilt over ordering Kirk to be a negotiator in the Klingon peace talks and the consequences that followed.
- After TOS: "Whom Gods Destroy" and TAS: "The Survivor", this marks the third time that a shapeshifter has assumed the form of Captain Kirk.
- 5th draft script: 28 December 1990
- Start of filming: 16 April 1991
- End of filming: 2 July 1991
- Screening for Gene Roddenberry (3 days before his death): 21 October 1991
- Hollywood, California premiere: 3 December 1991
- US theatrical premiere: 6 December 1991
- CD soundtrack: 10 December 1991
- Comic adaptation: 1991
- Australia theatrical premiere: 1 January 1992
- Novelization: 1992
- UK theatrical premiere: 14 February 1992
- Japan theatrical premiere: 28 February 1992
- Germany theatrical premiere: 5 March 1992
- Hungary theatrical premiere: 1 May 1992
- Netherlands theatrical premiere: 5 June 1992
- Spain theatrical premiere: 19 June 1992
- US LaserDisc: 25 June 1992
- France theatrical premiere: 22 July 1992
- Japan LaserDisc: 10 February 1993
- VHS: 25 August 1993
- UK LaserDisc: 1996
- France LaserDisc: 1996
- Widescreen VHS: 2 April 1997
- Region 1 DVD: 26 January 1999
- Special Edition Region 1 DVD: 27 January 2004
- Special Edition Region 2 DVD: 1 March 2004
- iTunes Store: 2006
- Blu-Ray: September 2009
- Aspect ratios. The film was originally filmed and edited in Super35 (4-perf) with a negative aspect ratio of 1.66:1. It was composed for multiple aspect ratios (meaning that all the important action had to be centered in a fairly small part of the frame). Every release is a reduction (croppings) from the original, never-released full frame using so-called "soft mattes". For theatrical release, the master was reduced to the usual 2.39:1 aspect ratio used for anamorphic 35mm projection (all the other Trek movies were filmed in this ratio, using anamorphic lenses instead of Super35). A 2.21:1 version was also prepared for 70mm release (the same was done with all the previous Trek films). The film has never been commercially available in either theatrical aspect ratio, until the recent Blue-ray release. The non-widescreen television broadcasts and VHS releases were reduced to the 1.33:1 aspect ratio traditional for television, using the original 1.66:1 print, thus easing up the matte on the top and bottom, but cropping the sides. Early widescreen VHS and laserdisc transfers and the first DVD release were reduced to yet another ratio, 1.95:1, and then centered high on the screen with space at the bottom for subtitles, letterboxed within a 1.33:1 raster. The Special Edition DVD release was reduced to 1.95:1 letterboxed within a 1.85:1 raster. Which portion of the full frame is used varies from shot to shot, rather than being a purely mechanical reduction – and the choices are made differently in each release, including the two 1.95:1 releases. Apparently the 1.95:1 is the director's preferred aspect ratio. However, for the May 2009 Blu-ray release, the film was made available in its original theatrical ratio of 2.39:1 for the first time, with the director's approval.
- Extra scenes and edits. Until 2009, the theatrical cut had never been released commercially in English. The original 1992 home video release added back in the "Operation Retrieve" scenes (originally, the scene in the president's office ended with the line "This president is not above the law"), the scene between Spock, Scotty and Valeris directly before the trial, and the unmasking of Colonel West on Khitomer (just a few shots are added: Colonel Worf touching West's blood and saying "This is not Klingon blood" between Cartwright trying to escape and Sulu stopping him, the actual unmasking and the C-in-C and Worf looking at each other directly after). These scenes remained in all subsequent commercial releases until 2009. The 2003 Special Edition DVD release added in glimpses of Cartwright, Chang and Nanclus during Spock and Valeris' mind meld and slight alternate takes during her interrogation on the bridge. The original cut, albeit with the 1.95:1 aspect ratio, was present on the 1993 dubbed German VHS release. It was also released on iTunes, cut at 1.95:1 and stretched slightly to 2.00:1 (640x320). The various releases of the movie on Blu-ray Disc and DVD in 2009 featured the original theatrical cut in its original aspect ratio.
- The end credits had a different format for the theatrical version. It featured the Starfleet Insignia at the top and the screen split between a white background and dark lettering and the other side with a dark background with white lettering.
- Star Trek VI was adapted into novelization by Jeanne M. Dillard.
- A comics adaptation was written by Peter David and drawn by Gordon Purcell and Arne Starr.
- A novel and comic sequel to the events of this film, The Ashes of Eden, written by William Shatner and Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, depicts a plot created by a Klingon-Romulan alliance, staged in Chal, a homeworld populated by a race of genetically-engineered Klingon-Romulans. Kirk is called there by a native of the planet, Teilani, to help her people with this crisis.
- The conference at Khitomer was explored again in the non-canon Star Trek novel Assignment: Eternity.
- While it was mentioned in the film that the crew was standing down, it wasn't directly stated that the entire Enterprise senior staff was retiring so it's been generally believed that most of the crew were simply stepping down and retiring from active ship duty. To that end, several novels have postulated that only Kirk, Spock and Scotty actually fully retired and then Spock became part of the diplomatic corps and became an ambassador. The novel Provenance of Shadows established that McCoy started doing research at Starfleet Medical and other novels have had McCoy as Chief of Starfleet Medical as well. "Encounter at Farpoint" clearly establishes that McCoy is an Admiral at that point in time. According to the novel The Star to Every Wandering, at the time of Star Trek Generations, Chekov was working a ground assignment on Earth waiting for an executive officer position to open up. It's likely he was assigned to Excelsior as executive officer shortly thereafter, eventually commanding two starships on his own before becoming an admiral. In the movie, Uhura said she was supposed to be chairing a seminar at the Academy, and The Lost Era novels established that she was going to do that very thing when she was recruited for Starfleet Intelligence and eventually rising to become an Admiral and head of Intelligence by 2360 at the latest. The Starfleet Corps of Engineers novels have established that Scotty eventually became the head of the Corps of Engineers and other books established Scotty as having helped to design and work on building the USS Enterprise-E. In fact, the novel Ship of the Line, which dealt with the actual launch of the Enterprise-E, established that Scotty was acting chief engineer for the ship's shakedown cruise with Geordi La Forge as his first assistant chief.
Links and references
- All credits
- Uncredited Co-Stars
- David Keith Anderson as an Enterprise-A crewmember
- Rene Auberjonois as Colonel West
- Lena Banks as the Federation president's assistant
- Robert Bruce as a Klingon officer
- Barron Christian as a Klingon
- Andre Dukes as a Klingon Rura Penthe guard
- Douglas Dunning as a Klingon
- Joe Durrenberger as a Klingon officer
- Farrel as a Klingon General
- Mark Gonzalez as a Romulan delegate
- Clay Hodges as a Klingon officer
- Ampy Koran as a Klingon officer
- Beau Lotterman as Romulan delegate
- Daryl F. Mallett as Rura Penthe prisoner
- James Mapes as a Zelonite
- Patrick Michael as an Enterprise-A crewman
- Claude Nemeth as a Klingon Rura Penthe guard
- Dennis Ott as the horned alien
- Denise Lynne Roberts as an Enterprise-A crewmember
- Richard Sarstedt as a Romulan delegate
- Eric A. Stillwell as a Klingon
- Roma Lee Tracy as a silver tube amazette alien dignitary
- Guy Vardaman as a Klingon officer
- J.D. Walters as a Klingon
- Clint Zehner as Rura Penthe prisoner
- Unknown performers as
- (Uniforms for each of these officers, each including a nametag, were sold off at the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay)
- Uncredited stunt performers
- Greg Gault as stunt double for David Warner
- Dennis Madalone as a Klingon officer
- Charlie Skeen as
- Patrick Michael as stand-in for Leonard Nimoy
- Joyce Robinson as stand-in for Iman
- Lita Stevens
- Kenny Studer
- Jim Thompson
- Martin Valinsky
- Philip Weyland as stand-in for William Shatner
- Uncredited production staff
- David Abbott - Special Makeup Effects Artist
- Aaron Albucher - Assistant Production Accountant
- Barney Burman - Special Makeup Effects Artist
- Rob Burman - Special Makeup Effects Artist
- Cogswell Video Services, Inc. - Visual Effects Unit Video Assist Company
- Robert Fletcher - Costumes Design
- Christopher Gilman and Dilligent Dwarves Effects Lab - Prop and Wardrobe Creator and Provider
- Kristin R. Glover - Camera Operator
- Jeff Kleeman - Development and Production Executive for Paramount Pictures
- Iain McCaig - ILM Storyboard Artist
- Mike McCarty (for Dilligent Dwarves Effects Lab) - FX artist: Ran parts for Klingon costumes
- Steve Neill - Special Makeup Effects Artist
- Scott Schneider - Model Maker
- Marlene Stoller - Hair Artist
- Rick Stratton - Makeup Artist
- Todd Tucker - Special Make-Up Effects Artist
- Philip Weyland - Dialogue Coach
Adam and Eve Expelled from Paradise; advocate; Alpha Quadrant; arthritis; artificial gravity; Beta Quadrant; boat; boatswain's whistle; bridge; Caesar, Julius; Camp Khitomer; chameloid; chancellor; China; Christ, Jesus; cloaking device, Klingon; coffee; colonel; commander in chief; commandant; communications station; Concise History of the Klingon Empire, A; court reporter; crew quarters; Davis (Crewman); deflector shield; dilithium; Earth; Earth Cold War; Enterprise-A, USS; Excelsior-class; Excelsior, USS; Excelsior, USS personnel; Federation President; Federation-Klingon Cold War; France; galley; Garden of Eden; gavel; gravitational field; gravity boot; gulag; Hamlet; handcuffs; Hitler, Adolf; interstellar law; Introduction to Klingon Grammar; jackal mastiff; K't'inga-class; Khitomer; Khitomer Accords; Khitomer Conference; Khitomer conspiracy; kill setting; Klingon Bird-of-Prey; Klingon Empire; Klingons; Klingon history; Klingon Neutral Zone; Klingon Defense Force uniforms; Kobayashi Maru scenario; Kronos One; Lincoln, Abraham; listening post; magnetic boot; magnetic gravity boots; Marcus, David; medical tricorder; Morska; neck; neutral zone; neutron radiation; news; Nixon, Richard M.; Okrand's Unabridged Klingon Dictionary; Operation Retrieve; Paris; penal colony; phaser; photon torpedo; plasma; plasma exhaust; Post, Emily; Praxis; Qo'noS; Romulan ale; Romulan Star Empire; Rura Penthe; sabot; sabotage; San Francisco; SD-103; SD-103 type; science station; Shakespeare, William; ship's bell; sickbay; smoking; Spoken Languages of the Klingon Empire; Starbase 24; Starfleet; Starfleet Academy; stun setting; subspace; subspace shock wave; targ; Tiberian bat; torpedo bay; torpedo launcher; United Federation of Planets; Ursva; viridium patch; Vulcan; Vulcan mind meld; warp drive; Wise, D.; weapons locker; Zelonite
Library Computer References
Ahwahnee, USS; Beta Penthe; Challenger, USS; Constellation, USS; Constitution-class; Eagle, USS; Efrosian; Emden, USS; Endeavour, USS; Helin, USS; John Muir, USS; Kongo, USS; Korolev, USS; Oberth-class; Oberth, USS; Potemkin, USS; Scovil, USS; Sector 21290; Spacedock (Earth); Springfield, USS; Starbase 24; Whorfin, USS
- Operation Retrieve star chart: Alpha Bayard; Alpha Beaird; Alpha Cooper; Alpha Crum; Alpha Glover; Alpha Johnson; Alpha McCusker; Alpha Myers; Apperson's Asteroid; Arnold's Planet; Baber Nebula; Barnes Nebula; Barnett's Star; Bergman's Planet; Beta Christenberry; Beta Cook; Beta Flinn; Beta Friedlich; Beta Garretson; Beta Lingard; Beta Michaels; Beta Schwartz; Beta Sternbach; Breton's Planet; Brookshire's Planet; Buckley's Planet; Cantamessa's Star; Cole's Star; Cybulski's Planet; Delta Hart; Downer's Star; Farrar's World; Foster Nebula; Frazee's Nova; Friedlich Nebula; Gamma Fitzgerald; Gauger Star; Gravesworld; Gullory Nebula; Harstedt's Planet; Hershman's Planet; Hershman's Star; Hodges Nebula; Latonaworld; Meyer's Star; Molly's Star; Moreyworld; Narita's Planet; Nimoy's Star; Nollman's Planet; Nuzzo Station; Okrand Colony; Rao-Beyers; Sasgen's Star; Sigma Trotti; Stevens Nebula; Theta Gentle; Theta Hulett; Wenselworld; Winter's Nova; Wise Nebula; Zimmerman's Star
- Federation Star Chart ("The Explored Galaxy"): Aldebaran; Alfa 177; Alpha Carinae; Alpha Centauri; Alpha Majoris; Altair VI; Andor; Ariannus; Arret; Babel; Benecia; Berengaria VII; Beta Aurigae; Beta Geminorum; Beta Lyrae; Beta Niobe; Beta Portolan; Camus II; Canopus III; Capella; Daran V; Delta Vega; Deneb; Eminiar; Fabrini; First Federation; Gamma Canaris N; Gamma Trianguli; Holberg 917G; Ingraham B; Janus VI; Kling; Kzin; Lactra VII; Makus III; Marcos XII; Manark IV; Memory Alpha; Mudd; Omega IV; Omega Cygni; Organia; Orion; Pallas 14; Phylos; Pollux IV; Psi 2000; Pyris VII; Regulus; Remus; Rigel; Romulus; Sarpeid; Sirius; Talos; Tau Ceti; Theta III; Tholian Assembly; Vulcan
- Hitler quoted as saying "we need breathing room"
- Beginning of a seventy-plus year-long period of what Spock describes as "unrelenting hostilities" with the Klingons
- A Klingon sergeant kills David Marcus
- Excelsior begins three-year exploratory tour in the Beta Quadrant
- Praxis explodes
- Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country at Wikipedia
- Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country at the Internet Movie Database
- Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
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